Monday, September 07, 2009

Reader Question: Arrangement of Humeral Veil And Order of Procession

A reader submits two rubrical questions, which while somewhat specific may yet be interesting to others as well. I put them here to our erudite readers:

The first is regarding the arrangement of the humeral veil (for the sub-deacon) on the credence table. Almost all liturgical authors prescribe that the humeral veil covers the credence table and its contents, and hangs down fully on the sides. However, in my travels I have seen one or two places that fold it a certain way so that it only covers the chalice and hangs down over the front of the table. This latter method would be most preferable since the credence table at my church is rather small, but I am not certain how to fold it in this manner. Is this an old custom and how does one fold the humeral veil such? Any advice (and photos) would be greatly appreciated.

The second question is regarding processions for feast days. I have seen no two parish churches that have a procession in quite the same way. Though, the vast majority of the ones at the Traditional Latin Mass seem to follow the Novus Ordo custom of entering from the back of the church; or sometimes this rather odd custom of leaving the sacristy, exiting the sanctuary by a gate in front of one of the side altars, and then walking around the church back to the altar in a very circuitous route. I should like to know what (if any) was Roman Catholic practice (either in North America or in Britain) before the 1950s. I have also seen the custom, at places like the Anglo-Catholic churches of Saint Clement (Philadelphia) or Saint Ignatius of Antioch (New York), where the procession, following the Sunday Asperges, is begun by the deacon singing "Procedamus in pace". Was this the old Roman Catholic practice?

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